A claim that a traditional Hebrew greeting for Passover was removed from a message by UK Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn because of the fear it might look “Zionist” has been rejected by the party.
Seumas Milne, one of Mr. Corbyn’s closest advisers, is alleged to have made the directive to delete the wording “chag kasher vesameach” from Mr. Corbyn’s Pesach message to the Jewish community in April. According to The Times, Mr. Milne is said to have felt that the phrase, which translates as “a happy and kosher holiday”, implied “support for Zionism” if it was included in Hebrew.
The newspaper cited a New York Times article where Joshua Simons made the claim: “After six months working as a policy adviser for Jeremy Corbyn, it was clear to me that the way Corbyn and those around him think about Jewish people is shaped by a frenetic anti-imperialism, focused on Israel and America.
“Without a hint of irony, one senior aide asked that I remove the greeting ‘Chag Kasher VeSameach’ from Corbyn’s Passover message, for fear that Corbyn’s supporters might think the use of Hebrew ‘Zionist’.”
Labour flatly denied the accusation. A spokesman for Mr. Corbyn told the Independent: “The allegation that Seumas Milne, or any other Jeremy Corbyn aide, asked for the Hebrew Passover greeting to be removed from the Labour leader’s Passover message earlier this year is categorically untrue.
“’Chag Kasher Vesameach’ appeared in Jeremy Corbyn’s Passover statement, published in Jewish News on 21st April.
“Far from being overruled on its contents, it was Seumas Milne who signed off the full statement, as confirmed by the documentary record.”
The public dispute comes as the UK Labour Party struggles to distance itself from repeated accusations of systemic anti-Jewish sentiments in its ranks.
As Breitbart Jerusalem has reported, Mr. Corbyn rejected an invitation from Labour’s sister party in Israel to visit the Yad Vashem Holocaust Museum, citing a busy schedule for the snub. Instead, he offered to send either deputy leader Tom Watson or general secretary Iain McNicol for the long-planned November visit.
In July, a press conference called to announce that an inquiry found the Labour Party is “not overrun” by anti-Semitism dissolved into chaos after Mr. Corbyn compared the Israeli government to Islamic State.
The inquiry, undertaken by Shami Chakrabarti, was commissioned in April by the party as a response to numerous allegations of anti-Semitism in Labour at all levels. It was sparked by the suspension of Bradford MP Naz Shah for her suggestion, posted to Facebook, that Israelis be deported to America.
The party dissolved into chaos with the nomination of Ms. Chakrabarti for a peerage just weeks after she published the report that found no indication of institutional anti-Semitism within the Labour Party. Critics said that proves that the report was a “fraud” and a “whitewash”.
The nomination also caused ructions between Labour Party factions, as Mr. Corbyn’s opponents severely criticised him for the timing of his elevation of Ms. Chakrabarti.
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